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Anxiety and Depression

We hear about anxiety and depression together all the time! But what are the differences between each one?

Anxiety: Excessive worry about a situation, they often expect the worst, anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about money, health, family, or work. Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in the United States.  About 18% of the population experiences anxiety (40 million adults). That is a lot of people. Are you one of them?  Do you overthink situations? Do you stay up at night worried about that weird pain in your side? Do you ever feel like you can’t breathe or have chest tightness? Do you worry about driving? Having enough money? If you will be in a car crash going to the store?

Depression: Depression causes a person to feel sad, hopeless, unmotivated, disinterested, discouraged, helpless about their life. It doesn’t matter if their life appears “perfect” in some way, a person continues to feel dissatisfied with their lives in some way. Feeling this way for a short period of time can be a case of the blues and can be a normal human emotion. Nobody is happy about everything ALL of the time. Depression happens when these feelings last for two weeks or more and begin to interfere with daily activities such as going to school or work, taking care of the house or kids, spending time with people or doing things you used to enjoy.

Depression can be an episode or it can turn into Major Depressive Disorder. An episode can last for a few months, but then it goes away and you feel like yourself again. If it doesn’t go away after two weeks, it becomes Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). MDD is a treatable disorder, although a multi-treatment approach should be considered. Antidepressants alone are not often 100% effective.

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How many people have it?
Utah stats say women are more likely to be depressed than men. 27% of women report feelings of depression, while 14.3% of men report depression. (The difference? Women are more likely to seek treatment than men. That stigma thing going on.)

Comparatively, the US rates for depression are 17.6%. To compare, 9% of the US population has type 2 diabetes mellitus and 32% have hypertension. This makes depression one of the most common forms of chronic disease!

Approximately 1/3 of people with mental illness are able to get treatment for it! This is what I am trying to change!

The Purpose and Vision of Rethink My Brain

Why start a website about mental health? Because people need a safe place and a provider to talk to! We need to bring awareness that normal, real people have depression and anxiety.

Why am I doing this?
One thing I have noticed throughout my career is that there is a lack of mental health care in the United States, especially in the rural areas where I live! Because I have the interest and the knowledge base, I decided to finish out my nursing degree and become a nurse practitioner. I am especially interested in postpartum depression, depression, and anxiety. I live in Utah and there is a high rate of depression. I want to figure out why this is and what we can do about it!

Who am I?
My name is Natalie! I have two teen/preteen children, I have worked in mental health nursing for four years, and guess what? I live with my parents. After I got divorced, I had only a small income, two small kids, and no place to go. I immediately went back to school (at age 29!) and basically haven’t stopped yet. Because of my education expenses and lack of good, steady income for many years, it has made it impossible to have a place of my own to live.

A bad marriage? I get it.
Anxiety? I get it.
A divorce? I get it.
Single mom? I get it.
Aging parents? I get it.
Depression? Bad situations? Education? I get it all. I have lived many different lives in my lifetime and I GET IT!

The Purpose
I didn’t have a lot of help. I didn’t have someone who really got the stress of it all. I want to be that person for you!

The Vision
I also want to bring light to the lack of availability of mental health care. We are learning how important it is and how much it is tied to medical health care and overall well being.

In the future, I will be covering many topics that may be of interest to many people. I will be discussing anxiety, depression, treatments, alternative/complementary therapies, diet, exercise, relationships, children, children with anxiety/depression, autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, support groups, suicide, panic disorders, social anxiety and much more!

Thanks for coming on this journey with me!

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